East of Havana

Released 2006


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East of Havana is a documentary film about the Cuban underground hip hop scene. The film follows three hip hop artists that call themselves "El Cartel". The trio's fame grows by word of mouth due to their amazing performances. They constantly have to avoid government officials because of the lack of free speech in Cuba. They succeed in creating a music festival even with the government officials always trying to stop them. The documentary follows the struggle of the trio trying to get their music out there. In the film the musicians also share information about their personal lives. The documentary shows how life is in Cuba and how different it is than living in a democratic nation. The film follows the rappers as they try to get out of the ghetto and make social change as they are coming of age. This film is about trying to make social change and you will be shocked on how different life is in Cuba is than living in a democratic nation.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The New York Times

    So much of American pop thrives on a bratty facsimile of courage that when you see the real deal, it's a revelation. East of Havana is the real deal.

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times

    East of Havana is a rare glimpse of everyday life in Cuba, where big questions and obstacles confront the rappers at seemingly every turn. Some of their lyrical criticism of the go...

  • 60

    Variety Robert Koehler

    The temptations of allowing a promotional video to seep inside a genuine non-fiction study nearly overtake East of Havana and its look at a bubbling hip-hop culture in Cuba.

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